Feb. 17, 2009
2009 NCBWA Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List (PDF)
JD and Mitch (Melton): Brothers and Baseball (www.navySports.com)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - For the third-straight season, Navy baseball relief pitcher JD Melton (Jr./Myrtle Beach, S.C.) has been selected to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List, it was announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Melton is one of 40 players nationally named to the preseason list and the lone representative from the Patriot League. The list will be updated on midway through the season (April 16) to include national save leaders before being pared down at the end of the regular season (May 27) to include the national saves leader and four other relief standouts as finalists for the award. The NCBWA All-America Committee will then select a winner, which will be announced in early June.
A native of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Melton owns Navy's career saves record with 16 and has collected 23 career saves when including his Freshman All-America season with Wofford (S.C.) in 2006. The two-time All-Patriot League relief pitcher tallied seven saves in 2008 to go along with a 2-1 record and paltry 1.85 ERA in 24.1 innings. Last season against Patriot League opposition, the Navy right-hander went 1-0 with two saves and a microscopic 1.08 ERA with only five hits and one walk allowed.
Melton, elected as this year's team captain, is the second Navy baseball player to earn a spot on a national watch list this preseason. In December, outfielder Michael Speciale (Jr./Pearland, Texas) was named to the Brooks Wallace Award Watch List for the nation's top collegiate baseball player.
Navy will begin its 2009 campaign this Friday through Sunday (Feb. 20-22) when it heads down to Millington, Tenn., for the Service Academy Spring Classic against Air Force and Pittsburgh. The Mids will host their first home game of the year on Wednesday, Feb. 25, when Delaware State comes to Annapolis. Admission to all of Navy's home games at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium is free of charge.